Really Great Job, Lennie!

lenny 2

A few months ago I went skeet shooting with two friends (Rett and Gary) and my brother in law, Jacob. Rett and Gary grew up hunting and shooting skeet. I grew up on Nerf guns which I thought would translate decently well. Jacob didn’t grow up on guns but has spent the majority of the last 5 years honing his general combat and sniper skills on Halo and Call of Duty. Regardless of my background, I really do think I would do very well in combat. War is Hell, chump, but war against me makes Hell look like a company picnic for kittens. Go ahead and laugh, but it’s true. Sometimes you just know things, you just feel them in your bone marrow. I know that I would do well in combat and that Davis and my younger sister would do poorly, regardless of foot speed. I think BigRy would do well too. I’m not joking. Whatever, I don’t care what you think anyway.

halo_master_chief

Alpha Thrash, this is BlueDog34. Over. Please toss an Antipersonell grenade at the nagging woman standing 3 clicks to the left of where I’m sitting on the couch because she doesn’t have her priorities straight. Over.

Anyway, so Rett put together this skeet shooting excursion, and he brought all the guns. Even though the last time I shot skeet was at 14 and I don’t have much gun experience, I can usually catch on pretty quickly at physical/mechanical things, so I was excited.

We got to the range, Rett showed us how the guns worked, how the order of the shooting worked, and how to hold the gun when it wasn’t our turn. Why is it that gun people don’t get that when you point the gun at them, but slightly above their head and say “Hold still dog, there’s a mosquito on your ear” that you are just joking? Do you honestly think I’m going to pull the trigger and shoot you in the face with this shotgun? It’s a joke dog, calm down. I don’t even know if it’s loaded or not; it probably isn’t. And why do you think I’m pointing it slightly above your head just incase it is loaded and the trigger mistakenly goes off? Because I’m not stupid and I know what I’m doing, that’s why. Geez. Chill pill.

Anyway, the way it worked was that we each did rounds of 25. The first round or two, Gary and Rett got quite a few more than Jacob and me, which was to be expected. Then Jacob starting getting the hang of it. That’s ok. I don’t care. It’s just a stupid thing anyway. Like I’ll ever have to shoot clay frisbees in my job in the real world. It’s like you told your jr. high math teacher. But I knew I would get the hang of it and catch up the next couple rounds, at least with Jacob. It’s all about leading the pidgeon.

Rett and Gary were getting between 18-22 out of 25. Jacob was maybe round 17. I was at 5 or so. Hard to remember. Between 5 and 22 somewhere. Ballpark. After a few rounds of this everyone stopped coaching everyone else and focused on me. “Ok, I will lead it more and put the stock on my shoulder here and maybe I’ll use those neat techniques to shoot your left foot off if you don’t start minding your own freaking business.”

During this time I was mostly making jokes about them giving me the crappiest gun with a crooked barrel and telling the guy behind us who was pushing the button to stop pulling mine faster than everyone else’s. Rett insisted my gun was actually the best gun. He has his opinion and I have mine. But the worst part was the compliments that came when I hit one, or even winged it. Whenever anyone else hit their pidgeon, the praise came in the form of manly silence. A silence saying “I’m not saying anything because I expected you to hit that pidgoen. Because you’re good and you usually hit them.” But my kill shots were followed by a chorus of enthusiastic complimenting and well-wishing, the type you give a one armed monkey when he doesn’t fall out of the tree. This single experience changed my entire paradigm on how the less-skilled of any given group should be encouraged and cheered on. Silence means you expect me to succeed. Wild raving makes me aware that I have something to be embarrassed about.

I ended up getting to 9 or so out of 25, but I just couldn’t pick it up. Honestly I didn’t want to and didn’t try very hard, because why waste my time with clay when I know I could easily be in Afghanistan sniping Taliban from 1000 yards. Give me a challenge worthy of my skill.

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15 Responses to Really Great Job, Lennie!

  1. Davis says:

    Great post, Kook! You didn’t forget today was your day, you got it on on time, and you made some good jokes! Proud of you, buddy.

  2. Eliza says:

    Oh that was all too familiar and so painfully funny. I can’t tell you how many situations I’ve been in where the “wild raving” happens and for others the expected success met with silence happens. Mini golfing, badmitton, volleyball, waterskiing, and really anything to do with any coordination and athletic ability. The thing is the people don’t understand that this is not news to me, I know I completely suck and I’m really okay with it, but we have to go through the whole process of ignoring my reluctance, coaxing me to do it encouraging and raving at my limited success. Anyway, to sum up my novel, I relate and you are dang funny. The end.

  3. Rebecca Bell says:

    it’s so funny how we completely convince ourselves before we do something that we’ve never done before that we are going to be really good at it. ex: there was a lady in my old ward who was no taller than 5’5″ and one Thanksgiving day with her family, she started imagining that she could slam-dunk a basketball and was telling her family this. of course, they thought she was downright crazy, but wanted to give her the chance to prove herself so they drove to the nearest church building. she said that she had totally convinced herself in her mind, even though she had no basketball experience, that she could do it and she imagined flying through the air, b-ball in hand, and easily slamming it through the basket. needless to say, she didn’t even come close and was chided the rest of the weekend by her family. if i’m honest, i have to admit that i’ve done the same thing (ex: qualifying for boston on my first marathon attempt- yeah freaking right). what do they say? live and learn.

  4. Josh says:

    I loved this post Chris. I felt the same way about wake boarding. I felt 100% confident I would get up on my first try. I thought with my history of snowboarding and skate boarding I would be naturally awesome on my first attempt. I was wrong. There is nothing worse than a boat full of super athletic dudes watching you attempt to wake board with all their advice on how to get up after each attempt. Good times.

  5. Daniel Bell says:

    Speaking of guns—I’m sitting in the computer lab on the fourth floor of the BYU library right now, and the kid in front of me is browsing pictures of guns. I have no idea why. It LOOKS from here like he may be on craigslist; is he planning to buy some?

    Just now, he got a phone call and got up to leave, so his screen just shows one gun. I’m pretty sure that ain’t no huntin’ rifle. I’d better watch my mouth in the library from now on.

    As for the manly silence/insulting praise dichotomy, I’m going to get nerdy for a second. People perform more poorly on complex tasks in front of an audience, and perform better on complex tasks in front of an audience. The phenomena are called social facilitation and inhibition, respectively. Perhaps this is part of the reason that this

    never happens.

  6. Jed Gold says:

    Chris,

    I have been stalking your blog for a while now. Great post but your pidgeon shooting is as bad as the 30 minute clown joke you used to tell in 7th grade that ended with the punchline “screw you clown”.

  7. Braden says:

    Kook, I was crying from laughing so hard. That was a really great post. And then I read Dave’s comment and just died. You guys are the best. I really needed this today.

  8. Braden says:

    Oh, I just noticed the title. Perfect!!!!

  9. Layne says:

    Short bus treatment is great. Being bad at a redneck activity may actually be a good thing. Just sayin’.

  10. Wade says:

    Chris, did you choke up? How about bending your knees? Did you let the gun do the work? What about just go out there and have fun, did you try that?

  11. Andrea W. says:

    This line: “Ok, I will lead it more and put the stock on my shoulder here and maybe I’ll use those neat techniques to shoot your left foot off if you don’t start minding your own freaking business.”

    had my dying. Davis’s comment was dang funny too. Great stuff. There’s nothing more frustrating than being the only one who is terrible at something and they really can’t do anything except be super nice and feel really bad for you. It’s really maddening.

  12. Christian says:

    Eliza, Reba, Josh, I enjoyed those stories. Exactly what I’m talking about. Poor Eliza, your entire athletics career has been one big compliment fest.

    Daniel, in general it’s just a good rule of thumb to stay away from people who look at guns on computers. Does every person who looks at guns on computers end up going postal and killing people? Of course not. But around one out of 3 do, so keep your distance.

    Jed Gold, hey-ohhhhh! Good to hear from you, dude. What’s crackin?

    Ben, you were the only one who passed the test. How you do always see things other don’t?

    Layne, “short bus.” I was only introduced to that term a few years ago by my Southern in-laws. So mean. But there’s just something funny about those 2 words together.

    Wade, mail bomb.

    Andrea and Braden, if you want to comment about how funny Davis is (overrated), there are plenty of other posts on this site for that sort of thing. Thank you.

  13. Danica says:

    Rolling at the one-armed monkey comment. I could never hit those clay pidgins either (and p.s. I definitely just used spell checker for pidgins…I would have bet money there was an “e” in there somewhere). Dude, “Honestly I didn’t want to and didn’t try very hard” – dying.

  14. shannon says:

    It’s like when you play a couple of hymns in relief society so badly that they’re unrecognizable, let alone singable, and someone finds you later on to tell you what a good job you did. Who tells the pianist they did a good job? What goes through their head before they dish out the pity praise? “Hmmm. She slaughtered those hymns and consequently drove the spirit completely out of the meeting. I’m sure she practiced really hard and is feeling really bad about herself right now. I think I’ll tell her she did a good job even though she clearly did not and then maybe she’ll feel better about herself. And she’ll think I’m really nice. I AM really nice. It’s a good thing there are people like me in the world.”

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